Leave the City at Night

Leave the City at Night

2007, 51x61cm, Acrylic on canvas, 285

The character in this painting is contemplating himself, his life, and his place. He is doing this at night, in a half-dream state. This is the time between waking and sleep when the mind drifts and lets go; wandering of its own accord. It is as if he has left his home in the city as this abstract form.

I tried to capture the half-light that occurs outside a city, when the world is illuminated by a bright moon. The world in this light seems an echo of our own daylight world - the same but different, and it is this world our character inhabits in his reverie.

I started with a predominantly orange background, which roots the picture in a kind of glow. I covered this in a green layer. I then etched the lines into this layer when wet, also hashing certain areas, to reveal the orange beneath. On top of this, several layers of various blues made up the final night-time feel of the scene.

Incidentally, the first orange background I painted for this picture did not seem appropriate at all, and I started again. That background went on to become the painting 'Autumn Vortex'.